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Houston We Have A Drinking Problem - Bad Astronaut

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Genre: Pop / Artist: Bad Astronaut / Audio CD released 2002-10-21 at Honest Don's

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      25.02.2008 21:26
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      Bad Astronaut's first album (2002).

      The "hilariously" titled 'Houston: We Have a Drinking Problem' (how do they come up with this stuff?) is the first full-length release from Bad Astronaut, side project of Lagwagon's Joey Cape and former members of the Ataris, and it's unfortunately a slight step down in quality from their debut E.P., which had the advantage of being a lot cheaper despite nearly being as long.

      There's still a fine balance between piano melancholia and pop rock, but the latter ends up winning out by an enormous margin, which is rather disappointing if you happen to find that sort of music a tad screechy and irritating. Even when the band attempts to reign it back in towards the end, this backfires and results in three consistently poor ballads or near-ballads in a row, which abandon the reasonable lyrics of earlier material and go the full way into sickening sentimentality.

      There are still some enjoyable aspects to this release. Some of the guitars are quite good when they stick to a more traditional style, or attempt something melodic as is the case at the end of 'Break Your Frame,' the piano is always welcome, and towards the end it even seems to feature a harmonica which is a nice additional touch, but essentially this fails to find the middle ground that their early release just about achieved.

      'Single' is a strong song, comparatively speaking, and more substantial than the rest, but the quality is dragged down significantly by the boring pop rock of 'You Deserve This,' sounding much worse here than when Armchair Martian covered it on the earlier E.P., and the cheesy power ballad 'Another Dead Romance' that wouldn't even make the most fickle teenage Him fan cry. Bad Astronaut was always going to have a tough job convincing people on both sides of its target market, but it ends up rather unsatisfying.

      1. These Days
      2. Clear Cutting
      3. Single
      4. Break Your Frame
      5. Disarm
      6. Not a Dull Moment
      7. You Deserve This
      8. If I Had a Son
      9. Solar Sister
      10. Off the Wagon
      11. Another Dead Romance
      12. Killers and Liars
      13. Our Greatest Year
      14. The Passenger


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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 These Days
      2 Clear Cutting
      3 Single
      4 Break Your Frame
      5 Disarm
      6 Not A Dull Moment
      7 You Deserve This
      8 If I Had A Son
      9 Solar Sister
      10 Off The Wagon
      11 Another Dead Romance
      12 Killers And Liars
      13 Our Greatest Year
      14 Passenge

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